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California Florida, folks. In response to an outbreak of EHV-1, HITS, the FEI tent at Wellington and several Florida farms are on lock-down.
The Florida Department of Agriculture (www.freshfromflorida.com) has issued an update today on the EHV-1 outbreak that started at HITS several days ago.
Five additional horses that are linked to the HITS Show in Ocala have tested positive for EHV-1 wild type. One is located at Redfield Farm in Ocala, four are located at Miles Away Farm in Loxahatchee, Florida. One horse not believed to be linked with any of the HITS-associated quarantined premises has also been positive for EHV-1. This horse is located at Tequestrian Farm in Wellington, Florida. None of the six new positive horses have exhibited neurological symptoms at this time. While the additional positive horses were detected after leaving the Showgrounds, they resided in Tent 3 and Tent 6 in proximity to Tent 7 which housed the index case. With evidence of more widespread exposure, all of the horses at the HITS Showgrounds have been placed under quarantine. The Division of Animal Industry is continuing their disease investigation and developing protocols for surveillance and quarantine release measures. An Incident Command Team comprised of state and federal personnel is being mobilized to implement appropriate control measures.
- HITS Showgrounds, Ocala – Entire facility
- Up Country Farm/Synergy Farm, Ocala
- Montera Farm, Ocala
- Flutterby Farm, Ocala
- Foxwood Farms, Pinellas Park
- Black Forest Farm, St. Augustine
- Littlewood Farm, Wellington
- Brookmore Farm, Oviedo
- Kings Ridge Farm, Reddick
New Quarantined Premises:
• FEI Tent at Wellington Showgrounds
• Tequestrian Farm, Wellington
• Redfield Farm, Ocala
• Miles Away Farm, Loxahatchee
**The quarantines listed above do not necessarily encompass the entire premises.
As we mentioned a couple days ago, Rocking Horse Winter III HT is requiring current health certificates (within 72 hrs) or a letter from your veterinarian stating your horse is healthy and EHV-free to compete this weekend. We encourage everyone to keep a close eye on your horses if in the Ocala area. At this time, the Florida Department of Ag has no travel restrictions, outside of the quarantines listed above.
For more information on EHV-1, see this article from The Horse.com. In most horses, EHV (“rhino”) is a respiratory illness, and can cause pregnant mares to abort. However, it does sometimes cause neurological symptoms. EHV-1 has an incubation period of 7-14 days, before neurological symptoms may be present. The disease presents first as a fever, so monitoring your horse’s temperature is the most important step an owner can take. The virus is transmitted through horse-to-horse contact, but can also survive on grooming tools, buckets, trailers, and other equipment surfaces. There is a routine vaccine available, most effective from 7 days, up to 90 days post-vaccination. The vaccine may not prevent the neurological form of EHV, but it will likely lesson the shedding of the virus, thereby limiting the transmission of the disease to other horses.